Over 1300 Pakistanis died because of heat wave, dehydration and contaminated water related sickness, with electricity failure adding to their woes. Those who are in power in Islamabad and Sind, along with land developers close to them are familiar with efforts and investment by rulers of Dubai to convert the desert into green belts, by intensive tree plantation etc. High rise buildings, roads, bridges, housing colonies have been built in the desert, with similar concerted effort to provide green belts, amenity parks for a better and healthy environment.

The rulers of Dubai would never allow any real estate developer to build housing societies or sky scrapers on green belts that they developed over years, because they have a sense of ownership to the land where they live. In Pakistan members of ruling elite and corrupt bureaucracy, whose families live foreign countries, are involved in converting natural green belts, that have existed for centuries, into concrete jungles by cutting down trees, destroying forests and natural sea shore habitat, thereby disturbing environmental balance with devastating consequences for those who have chosen to live and die in Pakistan.

Human beings need nature to survive and thrive. Tampering with forests, green belt, sea shore and cutting trees will have devastating effect upon fate of human race, the climate and environment. While our population is rising, green belts, amenity parks and agricultural land is diminishing around all major cities and towns. In Islamabad over 1200 acres of green land, where an agriculture research centre exists, is up for grabs by CDA in connivance with bureaucracy whose insatiable greed for real estate allotment and profits has blinded them to serious consequences which will follow if we tamper with nature.

Same is situation in Lahore, Peshawar and Karachi. Thousands of trees in hilly areas in vicinity of Islamabad, Murree and Nathia Gali have been cut down to convert land into residential and commercial plots, making them susceptible to devastating landslides, weakening the foundation so badly that minor earthquakes can cause major fatalities. Are we waiting for wrath of nature to destroy us?

ALI MALIK TARIQ,

Lahore, July 4.